Parking near Morris library restricted
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
The Newark City Council prohibited non-residents from parking on Sunset and Winslow Roads last month. The law change will affect students who park on the streets, usually while visiting Hugh M. Morris Library.
Previously, drivers were allowed to park their cars on the north side of the roads from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weeknights and at all times on the weekend. The new restrictions prohibit parking on the roads at all times.
The motion to prohibit parking on Sunset Road, specifically between South College Avenue and Orchard Road, was passed unanimously in a vote at the City Council meeting on Aug. 27.
According to District 4 Councilman David Athey, there are a range of factors for the change. Two of the main reasons are to maintain residents’ safety and because of loud students in the early morning, assumed to be leaving the library.
“[Students] were noisy and people complained that there would be trash in their yards the next day,” Athey said.
Amy Roe, a Sunset Road resident, said the congestion on her street began in 2010 after meter parking prices increased from $1 per hour to $1.25.
“I’ve lived here for 18 years with no problems,” Roe said. “I was very annoyed at the city of Newark’s process for doing this. They had no outreach to the community when they changed the meters in 2010 and it’s up to the residents.”
Roe said she has noticed that since this change, her street “has been providing service for free parking” and because of this, non-residential cars parked on the road have blocked her driveway.
At a Traffic Committee Meeting in July, many residents, including Roe, voiced their concerns for safety, stating that it was unsettling that they did not know who was parking in front of their houses. Residents cited incidents regarding crimes committed close to the area as reasons for concern.
At the meeting, a motion was passed to recommend to City Council that Sunset Road become a “Special Residential Parking District,” meaning anyone who parks on the street must live there or have a residential guest pass, according to the minutes.
Residents of Sunset Road were given two additional parking passes for guests. If residents have a party, they must notify the city so the visitors do not get ticketed, Roe said.
Senior Traci Stein said her habits have changed since the city eliminated free parking. She said she is reluctant to park at meters near the library because she got a $45 ticket for staying past the allotted time.
“I was there for two hours and the max is $3,” Stein said. “You run out of quarters and you end up getting a ticket.”
Senior Meghan Wieser said she noticed a similar problem with parking near the library.
“I have gotten a ticket from the university because my meter ran out,” Wieser said. “The parking permits are too expensive.”
According to the university’s website, the cheapest permit the university offers for standard- sized cars is $136 for undergraduate students per academic year. The most expensive permit costs $680 for commuters to park overnight.
Stein said the permit was too expensive and she does not plan on buying one. She said she would try to study in her apartment or on Main Street rather than travel to the library.
Athey and District 3 Councilman Doug Tuttle insist the new parking restriction was not a means of making money for the city.